Some questions for the next "third party" online conference
Earlier today there was a conference on "how to build a third party." David Sirota's "Lever" thing hosted it. The advice offered by the presenters was: form a fusion party, work within the Democrats, get Democrats elected. There were some nods toward the idea that their audience was composed of some people who weren't Democrats. But generally they repeated the stock arguments against "third parties" -- they never win anything big, they're spoilers, it's bad strategy, and so on. So after the conference I decided to create a list of questions to ask the next conference of this sort. Here goes:
1. Since we really haven't won what we need to win, what counts as "good strategy"? How can you possibly take the high ground on "realism" when in fact nobody can?
2. Are there some 21st century American successes of "progressive policy" you can point to? How important are these successes? Can you describe them in detail?
3. How deeply is the "progressive" cause hurt by lesser-evil campaigning and voting? (Perhaps it is hurt worse by Republican victory -- at any rate, the question isn't answered by pointing at the other guy.)
4. Since you all want to work within the Democratic Party, what is your strategy for promoting the case for a Democratic Congress in 2023?
5. Who are you planning to campaign for for President in 2025? (If it's Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Pete Buttigieg, what is the case for these politicians? I am already familiar with the rather substantial case against them.)
6. How is "working within the Democratic Party" any more or less defensible than "working outside of the Democratic Party" in light of the wholesale regression of politics since 2001?
7. How much of the judgment that "progressives are bad at sales" lies in the fact that "progressives" have been made, election cycle after election cycle, to sell an extremely defective Democratic Party product?
8. How much of the judgment that "progressives are wedded to the Democratic Party" is made by those who are only looking within the Democratic Party to find the progressives?
For the record, I don't really see why people don't just try anything and everything. We can't be afraid of failure when by any reckoning we ought to be used to it.